Devon Schott has his career mapped out ahead of him.
The 19-year-old Morrisville State student wants to land his dream job as a chef and eventually open his own restaurant.
His goals came into focus when a new associate degree in culinary arts management was launched by the college this semester.
“I am so excited about this,” the Long Island native said. “It will bring a whole new culinary aspect to my experiences and will give me the chance to learn so much more about the hospitality industry.”
The degree complements a menu of offerings that are already filling an industry craving highly seasoned and skilled hospitality and culinary experts.
The college currently offers associate in applied science degrees in restaurant management, food service
administration, travel and tourism management, and gaming and casino management. Additionally, a bachelor in business administration is offered in resort and recreation service management.
|Michael Bean, a restaurant management student at Morrisville State, prepares a special at the Copper Turret Restaurant.|
“The new program was a logical next step for us. Hospitality is a field that is growing and the need for trained chefs is increasing,” said Kerry Beadle, assistant professor and chair of the Hospitality
Technology Department. Beadle is also the executive chef at the college-run restaurant, The Copper Turret, located on Main Street in Morrisville.
The college’s hospitality programs are known for churning out cream-of-the-crop students with top-notch skills. News of the new degree follows on the heels of a growing trend.
Nationally, restaurants and bars are adding about 50,000 jobs monthly since April. That’s double the rate from 2012, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report. Overall, leisure and hospitality
establishments hired more workers than any other industry in June, accounting for 75,000 of the 195,000 jobs added last month, the report states.
And according to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant and food service industry is the United States’ second-largest private-sector employer, employing more than 13 million people, or 10 percent of the U.S. workforce.
That’s where Morrisville State students, hungry for careers, are making the grade.
“We are training students who are ready to meet this demand,” Beadle said, noting the influx of restaurants and bars that have opened locally at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort in Oneida, and at Destiny USA, the six-story super-regional shopping and entertainment complex in Syracuse.
Schott, who transferred into the new culinary arts management degree from the college’s two-year restaurant management program, already has the important ingredients under his belt necessary to pursue his culinary passion that began when he started cooking Italian cuisine with his mother nearly a decade ago.
And he’s looking forward to the next step — gaining a new set of job-ready skills. “I want to hone in on my knife skills and learn different cutting techniques,” Schott said about the new program. “Every experience I gain is important.”
The new culinary arts management program combines classroom time, laboratory learning, hands-on experience and cooperative work experiences with courses that focus on basic skills, garde manger, meat/seafood/poultry fabrication, stocks, sauces, soups, baking and pastry.
Students will progress through management and business classes to a final semester capstone course where they will assist in the operation of the kitchen at the Copper Turret.
Operated year-round by the Morrisville Auxiliary Corporation (MAC), the Copper Turret serves as a learning lab for the college’s hospitality students.
As part of the new program, students will learn how to manage labor and food costs in order to operate an economically sustainable establishment.
The new degree will serve up students who will be prepared for positions in restaurants, country clubs, resorts, banquet facilities, commercial kitchens, and all other food service operations, in jobs that include sous chef, line cook, kitchen manager, pastry chef, garde manger and shift manager.
Along with the culinary arts management degree is a lineup of new courses, including those that will have students learning how to butcher meats as well as make their own sausage. Culinary classes will teach students about food purchasing and cost control to help them understand various management aspects.
“They will learn how to manage people and resources so they can be successful and their operation can be successful,” Beadle said.
Schott and his fellow hospitality students are already getting a taste of what the restaurant industry is like through their experience working at the Copper Turret. Inside the popular eatery students thrive in a collaborative, hands-on environment.
“Working there is definitely a great experience,” said Frank Cuccia, 19, of Staten Island, a restaurant management major. “I had never worked in the back end of a restaurant before and I was able to see all aspects of it and do just about everything including prepping food, and making meals and desserts.”
“We are learning everything we need to know in an actual restaurant with full-fledged orders,” Schott said. “We learn everything from dishwashing to owning a restaurant. Having all of this experience gives us a definite advantage in the job market.”
Hospitality students credit teachers with putting the icing on their overall learning and college experience.
“They actually work in the field and we see them working in their own establishments,” Cuccia said.
“They really know so much about the industry and are inspiring role models.”
At the Copper Turret, students get involved with various aspects of the restaurant industry from washing dishes and learning how to successfully operate a bar, to prepping foods for both a pub and gourmet menu that change regularly to reflect seasonal and local cuisine trends.
Cuccia described his experience as going from career to career. “Everything I am doing now is preparing me for exactly what I will be doing in the industry,” he said.
Students even learn about where food comes from and they will be working with local farmers to experience first-hand how to grow the finest vegetables then incorporate local products into the menu at the Copper Turret.
Beadle strives on purchasing as much local fare as possible, including fresh local ingredients from Alambria Springs Farm, Mosher Farms, Canaseraga Farms, and Purdy & Sons Foods.
While the new degree is already serving up interest, things are also cooking at the Copper Turret. Plans are under way to integrate more technology into the ordering process to reflect industry trends.
To learn more about the new culinary arts management program, contact: Kerry Beadle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 684-6786.
To see more about the Copper Turret visit www.copperturret.com.
Restaurant hours are: Tuesday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Kitchen closes at 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Kitchen closes at 10 p.m.